Andromium’s $99 Superbook Converts Your Android Smartphone Into a Laptop
Every now and then, Kickstarter tends to give us products and ideas which are received brilliantly by the crowd. These products offer simple and practical solutions, and the audience very obviously votes them to success with their wallets. One such product is Andromium’s Superbook.
If Andromium sounds familiar to you, you may have heard of them from our previous coverage. The team back then set out to simplify the task of using your phone as the hub for your computing experience. By modifying Android to work as a desktop OS, AndromiumOS needed peripherals connected to your smartphone to provide the desktop experience. While the process was still simple enough, the approach wasn’t the most average-user friendly. The Superbook fixes the hardware aspect of this problem.
The concept of Superbook is simple: you already possess a very powerful computing device, good enough to crunch through most daily use cases of computers for the average user. But the limiting factor comes in its size: they are talking about the smartphone in your pocket — a device that is capable but not practical for all tasks. The Superbook fills in this void of practicality, allowing you to make use of the computing power inside your smartphone in a form factor practical enough for intensive tasks.
The Superbook is a laptop shell essentially, providing you with a larger screen, a hardware keyboard, a multi touch trackpad and 8 hours of battery life. When you plug in your smartphone, the Superbook transforms into a laptop for all your productive needs, and even charges your phone while it’s docked.
With the Superbook, you can do everything you can do on a laptop—and more. With desktop-class browsing, access to office applications, games, and even programming, the opportunities are limitless.
Since it is a docking station in its essence, it also benefits from the advantages of having one device to maintain. Files on your phone are there on the Superbook. And everytime you upgrade your smartphone, you upgrade the heart and brain of your Superbook.
The Superbook sports a 11.6″ TN non-touch display with a 1366×768 resolution. The keyboard is a QWERTY style keyboard with Android Navigation keys built in, but you can also remap it through software if you prefer some other functionality. The trackpad also boasts of multi-touch capabilities, and the battery is a good 7,500 mAh in size with a claimed life of 8 hours.
The internal hardware is powered by Displaylink‘s 4xxx chipsets, which lets the Superbook achieve a very wide compatibility reach. As long as the smartphone supports USB-OTG, the Superbook with its DL technology will output video to the Superbook and let you use the device as intended. And if you keeny noticed, since this is based off of USB-OTG, it will support Windows, OS X and a few Linux distros as well, out of the box. Plug and play, and you are good to go.
Minimum smartphone requirements? Smartphone running Android 5.0+ with 1.5GB of RAM and USB-OTG support.
Additionally, the Superbook utilizes a USB Type C port, which means that other compliant USB Type C devices will be able to run in USB Host mode and still continue to receive power simultaneously. The benefits of this translate into charging your device while perusing a desktop experience on Andromium OS. For older devices with the Micro-USB port, the team has promised to support the major brands that used the power spec to provide the same power+data capability.
The Superbook will cost you $99 on Kickstarter, and comes with a custom USB-OTG cord and a charging adapter. Estimated delivery is for February 2017, but that doesn’t seem to deter other enthusiastic backers. As of writing this, the project already has 1,061 backers with $147,305 pledged with 29 days remaining for what was a modest $50,000 goal. There are additional perks on the stretch goal as well, and it is likely that a lot of these are met as well.
All in all, the Superbook is turning out to be the smart dock that Android needed for a long time.
What are your thoughts on the Andromium Superbook? Would you be interested in a dock-style connector for your smartphone? Let us know in the comments below!